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April 24, 2011 / KristenMakes

Back to the hand-knitting!

Well in case you were wondering, ‘is she going to completely forsake hand-knitting now that she has Chip (her new knitting machine)?’ I can proudly prove to you that my answer is: Hells no!  Unfortunately I have had to pack Chip up for a few weeks as he takes up a bit of space and we have guests coming (a string of visitors over the next few months in fact!).  He’ll make a reappearance though, never fear!

Anyhow in the meantime, I have 2 new HAND-knitting projects  and a hand-knitting/yarn-dyeing outing to show you, if you will.

face and reverse

First off, I have completed something that has taken me since November to finish, and it is a somewhat uni-related project.  As yet untitled, this jumper can be worn in 4 ways.  It is twice reversible as in you can not only wear it back to front, but you can also turn it inside out and still wear it back to front.  I haven’t modelled it yet because I completed it just in time to turn in with the end of my second semester’s work so dressform pictures will have to do.

It is seamless, knitted from the top-down from New Lanark Aran-weight Silk Donegal Tweed. I spit-spliced each yarn end when joining a new ball so that there would be fewer ends to weave in (since it is reversible, I didn’t want to risk any exposed ends).

Above is the jumper viewed as worn with the front to back.  The scoop-neck front looks quite nice on the back and I think the high-neck in the front would look pretty chic with a long necklace or something.


I really like the sleeves.  I separated the sleeves from the body by a twisted rib and shaped in a softly sloping angle.  Plus there is a light ‘puff’ detail at the shoulder, which gives it a 1940’s feel.

I hope to take pictures with it modelled but that will have to come later.  Also to come later will be the written knitting pattern.  I kept pretty careful notes while knitting it but I would like to go back, knit it again, refinethe notes and recalculate for different sizes before I’ll be able to release it.  What are your thoughts?  Do you like it?

Also I knitted another pair of socks!
These socks are the Butterfly Socks by Wendy D. Johnson from the book Socks From the Toe-Up. I used Malabrigo Sock yarn which I bought on our excursion to London in February. On this trip I visited the famed knitting shop, Loop, and got to finally meet blogger / ravelry friend Meghan! I wish we had more time to chat but she was working and Trent & I had a museum to hit. Another time, Meghan!
IMG_4383 Anyway like I said, the yarn I bought there was Malabrigo sock yarn which many of the gals in my knitting group swear by so I was quite keen to try it. LOVELY! so soft and squishy, and they do make amazing socks as you can see!
IMG_5420 What is the deal with the lace at the cuff, you say? I’ll tell you! While working on these at uni, my friend Aimi mentioned that they would look pretty cute with lace and I completely agreed! I got some lace trim at John Lewis and had some 1/4-inch elastic at home already. It was quite easy to add, and can be done to any sock, really, hand-knitted or store-bought. Here is a rough tutorial on how to do it if you are interested:
A mini lace tutorial for socks_step 1-2
1.   measure the length of lace (with enough to overlap about an inch or so).  measure the length of elastic, also with a bit of overlap.
2.   mark with a pin the centers of each piece.
A mini lace tutorial for socks_step 3 3.   pin the 2 lengths together at the ends and centers. make sure the lace extends beyond the elastic a wee bit.
A mini lace tutorial for socks_step 4

4.   use a zig zag stitch to sew the elastic to the lace, pulling taught as you sew.
A mini lace tutorial for socks_step 5
5.   End product! When the sock is finished, overlap and hand sew the ends of the lace/elastic together, turn the sock inside out, pin the lace to the cuff and handsew it in. I sewed very loosely, stretching as I went so that the stitches wouldn’t be too tight when I put the sock on.  The best part about this step was I got to use my new needle holder!  This was such a sweet gift sent to me by Anne of Frayed at the Edge.
She lives in the Borders here in Scotland and shares the most amazing pictures of her crafty projects, yummy edibles, and lovely walks in the country.  Getting to read her blog is such a treat and to receive a lovely handcrafted needle-book from her was such an honour!  Many many thanks, Anne!


IMG_5415What a lovely Spring Day in which to take pictures of my new socks out in our back garden!

Next up to share with you (sorry for this super long post but it has been so long since I have had time to post that I have a lot to catch up on!) is my trip to West Kilbride – to dye yarn!  My friend Rachel & I treated ourselves to a yarn-dyeing workshop with Lilith of Old Maiden Aunt Yarns.

IMG_5224IMG_5245IMG_5242 Lilith has a lovely studio into which we were warmly welcomed.  She explained to us the basics of yarn dyeing and showed us our beginner samples.  She provided us with samples of many different fibre combos to test out some colours with.
IMG_5451 Once we were happy with any colour mixtures, we were given one skein of our choice to dye and any additional skeins we wanted to dye were only £5 (as opposed to £14-24 retail!).

I was well-behaved and only bought 2 additional skeins to dye.


I’m not sure what to make with these but I can’t wait to start!  The blue is a merino/bamboo sock weight yarn (perhaps tardis blue?), the silver grey and light green are both laceweight.  I think the green would make a lovely Laar, which would be doubly fun to knit, as some of gals in my knitting group are making that just now.
Well I think I’m finally caught up!  Sorry to load this post with so much info.   Right now I’m off to enjoy the rest of my Easter weekend with coffee, tiramisu, and knitting, and tomorrow I plan to do some personal sewing for the first time in weeks.  You might not see very much of me over the next 2 months as I will be (a) entertaining friends and family visitors (eeee!) and (b) finishing up some uni work!  Happy Easter weekend to you!


Leave a Comment
  1. Mom Orme / Apr 24 2011 3:31 pm

    Not surprised to see you’ve been very busy. The reversible jumper is pretty interesting. Glad to see the red sox completed (you were working on them when we skyped). Now, I love the dyed yarns, esp. the silver gray and green. Can’t wait to see what you do with them. Perhaps I’ll see it in person (as one of your many summer visitors:)).
    Mom O.

  2. Rue / Apr 24 2011 4:02 pm

    So much lovely stuff! I love the clever detailing on the sweater. Since you had at least four ends to weave in, where did you manage to hide them? And isn’t spit splicing great?

    Malabrigo sock yarn makes great baby knits, too, since it doesn’t fuzz and pill too much in the wash. Those socks look great and the lace is the perfect finishing touch.

    And I’ll add my vote for a green Flaar. That combo of pattern and yarn would be stunning.

  3. Sarah / Apr 24 2011 6:05 pm

    That jumper is really lovely and I adore your red socks!!

  4. Roobeedoo / Apr 25 2011 5:10 am

    What a treat of a post! Lovely, lovely and lovely! Take care with those socks – I find malabrigo wears thin very quickly, so I save it for shawls now.

  5. Kerry / Apr 25 2011 6:30 am

    I love your jumper, it’s a great design and I think its versatility is a really great aspect of it. Also interesting to read about your yarn dying. I’ve heard of Old Maiden Aunt Yarns but never been there. Might have to make a trip!

  6. indigorchid / Apr 25 2011 9:52 am

    Wow, that sweater is just stunning! And very clever, I might add – with the shaping and being reversible! Great job!

    (P.S. Feel free to email me if you want a test-knitter! ;))

  7. Holly / Apr 25 2011 12:10 pm

    So much to say about this post! Love the sweater, and would LOVE to see it modeled on you in it’s various styles. LOVE the sock tutorial and will be using the technique (thanks so much) and I’m so jealous that you were at Loop chatting to Meghan. We used to work there together, and I do miss it, so. Enjoy your time with friends and family!

  8. frayedattheedge / Apr 25 2011 12:56 pm

    I love your jumper! I get so frustrated that I can’t wear wool next to my skin (except for socks) as it makes me itch! Your socks are gorgeous – I have that book, but haven’t knitted any of the socks yet. Thanks for the compliments about my blog!!

  9. Sølvi / Apr 25 2011 5:08 pm

    The jumper is so beautiful! Can´t wait to see some live- action shots. And the socks? Adorable… And thanks for the tute! Very nice!

  10. Teresa / Apr 26 2011 3:09 pm

    Love the jumper!

    You look SO cute in your socks AND the yarn you dyed is beautiful!

  11. Amanda hamilton / May 9 2011 6:12 am

    Jumper is fabulous – your patience has been rewarded. You are so talented and I am sure the tutors will love it!

  12. SavvyChristine / Jul 25 2011 10:02 pm

    Gorgeous reversible sweater! I think you have a late 30s-early 40s style going on there, particularly with the boat neck. I’m looking into a sustainable, multi-tasking wardrobe as well. This is a fantastic project, and I hope you’ll keep going with updates on it!

  13. KristenMakes / Jul 26 2011 7:48 am

    Thanks! That is pretty much what I was going for, 1940’s style! Glad that it shows. Thanks for stopping by!


  1. My Textiles Journey « KristenMakes
  2. My Work! (part one) « KristenMakes
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  4. Last Minute Photoshoot « KristenMakes

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